The assessment group set up to consider how the donation from the BBC should be spent has come to a conclusion – a massive thank you to the thirteen members and all the other villagers who suggested ideas and contributed to the analysis – at the end of this email are details of the decision making process and how you can find out more

The result


20 ideas for spending the money were put forward by over 40 villagers

These were narrowed down to 6 ideas to consider in more detail and the conclusion is that 3 ideas should be funded:

  • planting of bulbs around St Hilary
  • purchase of a marquee for the village
  • the installation of a picnic table or bench

A small group of villagers has come forward to prepare a plan for the planting of bulbs – they will share their ideas with the rest of the village in due course

Neil Warnock and Terry Dennis will spearhead the purchase of a marquee

The installation of a picnic table or bench needs to consider matters such as cost, location, litter, health and safety, etc, so Caroline Neudegg has volunteered to prepare a costed feasibility plan by the end of June – if the project does not proceed, then the funds will revert to the other projects

Different processes are suggested for the 4th and 5th ideas – a village event and a children’s playground – see below for details

Finally, the 6th idea, a village water butt can be installed without cost (subject to appropriate approval)

A village event


Although it was suggested several times, a village event did not quite get to the funded shortlist

However, an event would involve and benefit many villagers, especially children, and raise spirits after lockdown is eased

Concurrent with this process, we have been in touch with villagers who have recently moved into the village and/or have young families to suggest that they join forces and start working together, and with the rest of the village, to plan and deliver a new generation of social activities

There has been a positive response with eight households coming forward to date and offers to get involved with a village celebratory event, which might not require any expenditure, have already been made – we are confident that others will get involved once the momentum builds

There are funds available from Winter’s Eve 2020 for entertainment that can be put towards the event – these funds are earmarked for a musical spectacular and a harp recital


Some villagers have expressed reservations about holding an event, but it would obviously be subject to any regulations in force at that time – and the Foragers Market last year demonstrated that the village can hold safe events

Children’s playground


There was widespread acknowledgement that a children’s playground would be nice to have, but that was often coupled with an acceptance that there would be many practical challenges that would need to be addressed

There were also very strong views about where it should not be located

Capital and ongoing costs, ongoing responsibilities and timescales meant that this would not be an appropriate use of the funds

Liz Loch and James Griffiths are moving ahead with the playground proposal and have already had initial contact with both the Vale Council and Llanfair Community Council

This will now continue as a standalone project

Tardis film set tour


Something else to look forward to!

This is a reminder that all villagers will be invited to a free tour of the Dr Who film set at the BBC studios in Cardiff Bay when lockdown restrictions have been lifted

The process – a short overview

The donation was paid by the BBC to the St Hilary Forum on behalf of the village

As a constituted body, the Forum had to ensure that a proper process was put in place to consider how the funds should be spent

This involved:

  • setting up an assessment group of 13 villagers, trying to ensure representation of young/old, those who have recently moved into the village/long standing residents, families/adult households
  • inviting villagers to submit ideas for spending the donation
  • agreeing criteria for assessing the ideas: affordability, benefits to the village, feasibility and practicality
  • considering the 20 longlisted ideas
  • developing and considering the pros and cons of a shortlist of 6 ideas
  • using a combination of first preference and weighted preferences to rank the shortlisted ideas

If you would like details of the analysis or have any questions or comments please email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Thank you

A lot of villagers have contributed to this process and many will be involved as the projects progress

The money involved is relatively immaterial – but it has been, and will be, a catalyst for the village coming together in due course as lockdown restrictions continue, hopefully, to be lifted

So a massive thank you to everybody who has been and will be involved – all helping to make St Hilary a special place to live because “The Community Matters”